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Padayatra has given me a chance to study deeper concerns of masses – Bhatti

  • As an MLA, I looked at the people’s  issues on the surface so far
  • BCs, STs and SCs consider me as their representative
  • My walkathon is there because of Congress party
  • Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka’s Walkathon completed 70 days and crossed 804 km mark by May 25.

Bhatti opens his mind on People’s March to the Prime Post on the occasion. Here is the interview:

Prime Post (PP): What are your experiences after crossing half-way mark of People’s March?

Bhatti: I am modestly revealing that as an MLA I knew the problems of the people only on the perifery so far. We had spent time so far within the limited parameters. People’s March has changed my perception pertaining to the issues of the poor. The massive issues of people came out in the program. I was stunned and surprised by the gravity of the problems faced  by the masses.

Bhatti Vikramarka walking in Mahaboobnagar district

PP: What are the issues that moved you so greatly? Are there any remedies to them?

Bhatti: Artisans lost their family professions and they are at cross-roads. Choosing other work is a big question to them and it is the duty of the government to show a way to them. The family members of these artisans met me during my ‘Walk’ and narrated their woes. Driving the  Adivasis from the forest is a big problem for them. They lived in the forests since ages along with the wildlife. The forest officials are creating problems for the adivasis in the forests. The issues of Dharani portal turned out to be a curse to the adivasis and the farmers. There is water in the reservoirs, but there is no distributory channels to take water to the fields. Such issues have been witnessed in Adilabad and Manchirial districts.

Bhatti shaking hands with a farmer

PP: Being a Dalit leader in Congress, are you facing any discrimination during your Walkathon?

Bhatti: Firstly, frankly speaking, Congress party had given me a great opportunity by allowing to undertake the People’s March. The people of backward classes, scheduled castes and adivasis identified me as their leader and invited me into their hamlets and houses during my walkathon. They offered food in their houses by making me sit on their cots. The leaders of Congress party from different communities welcomed me on happy note. Many of them came to my camp and asked me to visit their villages though they were not in my list.

Also read: Why the rank and file of Congress in Telangana so excited with the party success in Karnataka?

PP: Have the differences among various groups in the Congress disturbed your program any where?

Bhatti: Congress is a party of ‘Unity in Diversity’ and differences of opinions will be there in every political party. Congress leaders showed their unity in this programme and took part in the walkathon. Even in Janagaon, Congress leaders joined in People’s March and walked along with me.

Bhatti with youngsters

PP: Did you find any difference on the response of people after Karnataka elections?

Bhatti: I found increasing confidence in the Congress leaders and workers after the Karnataka election results. They made up their mind to work hard to bring Congress into the power in Telangana. There are a number of occasions when common people expressed the ‘wish’ of repeating the same result in Telangana.

Also read: KCR on second thoughts over spreading of BRS in other states?

  PP: Your People’s March, commenced on March 16, touched 26 assembly segments in six erstwhile districts of Adilabad, Karimanagar, Warangal, Nalgonda, Rangareddy and Mahaboobabad so far and completed 803 kilometers in 70 days by May 25. What is your feedback on it?

Youngsters are seen walking with Bhatti Vikramarka

Bhatti: Surprisingly, I found antagonism against BRS government in northern Telangana districts than I expected. I was surprised at the long list of issues being talked about by the poor who met me. There are villages that are not getting drinking water when Chief Minister has been boasting that Mission Bhagiratha has resolved the water issue in the State.

PP: Do you believe that the People’s March projected you to be a probable candidate for the CM post in Telangana in case your party came to power? What is your comment?

Bhatti: People’s March helped me a lot to mingle with the masses and know the issues of the people in Telangana and I thanked  Rahul Gandhi and AICC president Mallikarjuna Kharge for the opportunity. There is no link between the ‘Walkathon’ and seeking CM post. In Congress, every leader had right to aspire for the CM post. I have also the same right in aspiring for it. Congress will definitely come to power in Telangana.  (eom)

Also read: Not Only Dalit Bandu, What About Other Illegal Activities by BRS Legislators?

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